I listened to a ridiculously interesting audiobook over the last few days, called The New Psycho-Cybernetics by Dr Maxwell Maltz & Dan Kennedy.
It was an awesome look into how our brains actually interpret the commands that we give it, and how those commands will lead to automatic success or automatic failure.
Remember the Reticular Activating System?
I wrote a blog post & email on this two weeks ago. If you missed it you can read it here.
In simple terms the RAS picks out things from the vast amount of sights, sounds and so on that exist in the world around us, that it thinks are important to us.
It’s like a big neon sign flashing in front of your conscious awareness that shouts “HEY LOOK AT THIS, IT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU!” (Ever thought of buying a new car and suddenly that model of car seems to be everywhere? That’s your RAS in action).
Automatic route to failure, or to success. You choose.
The problem is that our servo mechanism is a right-brain function. This means it’s creative. It doesn’t talk in words or logic, it talks in images and feelings.
So what do most of us do when we want to change something, get something, or do something? We tell ourselves with words about what we should do. We tell ourselves with words to go to the gym three times a week and eat healthy food.
Yet at the same time, we’ll think about how we can never lose weight, how we really want that cake, and we’ll vividly picture in our minds all the things about our body that we’re not happy with. What message is the servo mechanism going to act on? And therefore what reality is it going to create?
We’ll start getting feelings of dread when we think about going to the gym, and we’ll start craving cake more than anything in the world. Your servo mechanism is trying to direct your actions to create the reality that you keep feeding it in your mind. Nobody can use willpower against the servo mechanism for any length of time.
It’s like repeatedly rewarding a dog’s good behaviour by saying “Good boy!” and then smacking it in the face. That dog will very quickly learn not to do that “good behaviour” ever again…
Whenever we dare to try to take advantage of an opportunity that would get us higher in the world, our servo mechanism steps up and says “no, that doesn’t fit the image I have of who you are in this world”, before filling your body with so much fear at the thought of stepping out of your comfort zone that you’re paralyzed in place.
But what can we do about it?